Tuesday, 27 January 2009

5 Inexpensive Ways to Add Storage to the Kitchen

Sure, we all want to remodel and build the kitchen of our dreams (the one with granite countertops, $10,000 internet-connected appliances, built-in islands with tons and tons of storage space, and don't forget that huge bay window that lets the sun stream in...

The problem is that most of us don't have that kind of money, especially today!

Fortunately, you don't need to take on a huge kitchen remodeling job to improve this room. Just adding a bit of extra storage space to the kitchen can really make it a much nicer place to work. Some items are fairly inexpensive too, and in many cases you can find them used on Craiglist!

5 Simple Ways to Increase Kitchen Storage

1. Get a microwave cart

If you're hurting for counter space but you do have an unused corner of the kitchen (or even the dining room or kitchen nook), a microwave cart can be an easy way to get that large appliance off the counter and out of the way.

Not only does a cart give your microwave a dedicated spot to loiter, but carts usually have plenty of storage space underneath. You can find models with cabinets, drawers, shelves, or a mix of all of these (if you're a clutter bug, it makes sense to get a cart with "hidden" storage, AKA doors you can close!).

2. Install under-cabinet stemware racks

It's pretty common for folks to install a paper towel holder under upper cabinets, but why stop there? That's just dead space anyway.

There are a lot of stemware racks you can pick up that are specifically designed to hold sets of wine or martini glasses (any glass with a stem, really). If you have a DIY person in the family, these racks could even be handmade from scraps of wood or metal. All you need is a little spot to slide upside down glasses into.

As a bonus, hanging those wine glasses upside down keeps the dust out!

3. Add shelves

Shelves are inexpensive and a great use of otherwise empty wall space. Chances are you can find some used wall-mounted units for sale on Craigslist, but really all it takes are some brackets and boards to make basic shelves. With a little bit of paint, you can make them fit into your kitchen decor.

4. Create between-the-studs cabinets or nooks

There isn't a lot of space between the studs in your walls, but there's enough for a cabinet that holds a fire extinguisher or a little nook to house some knickknacks.

This is a project for a do-it-yourselfer, but if you've got a stud finder in your toolbox, it's not too big of a job to cut a hole in the wall and finish it nicely. If you shop around, you can even find inexpensive shelves and cabinets designed to fit this space.

5. Install cabinet racks to make dead space accessible

If you've got a kitchen with cabinets built around corners, there's probably some dead space back there that is hard to get to.

Instead of just shoving things you don't use often way in the back, make that space easily accessible with Lazy Susans or pull-out racks.

You can also get racks to create tiers under your sink, which can double the space you have for storing cleaners, garbage bags, etc.

There you go: five inexpensive ways to increase kitchen storage!

The author writes on all sorts of home improvement ideas and has blogged about everything from microwave carts to fancy kitchen remodeling ideas.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=TC_Thorn

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Kitchen Design - Trends in Kitchen Cabinets

Aside from the flow and functionality of kitchen design, the right kitchen cabinets are the most important part of the process. In fact, they are essential to having a beautiful functioning kitchen.

Though it is important, there is more to consider than the color and wood you want. Storage methods and space as well as hardware are all important decisions and today, there are more choices than ever to make your space organized and pretty at the same time. Here are some of the options when choosing cabinets for your kitchen design:

1. Custom or Stock: If you have an unusually arranged kitchen or you just have very specific ideas about what you want, custom cabinets will probably suit you better. Of course, this route is more expensive, but at least you know you can get what you want.

However, even the stock pre-made versions are now coming with a lot of little extras as standard practice. You can walk into a home improvement store and find a variety of options that have a lot more to offer than they used to.

2. Woods and Finish: If you decide on custom cabinets, your wood choices are greater. Here are some of the common woods used: Oak, Cherry, Maple, Walnut and Mahogany. If you are environmentally minded, bamboo is now being utilized in kitchen cabinetry.

Also used in wood flooring, it is a sustainable resource. As for finishes, you can choose between painted or stained and cover that with a glaze or not.

3. Doors: You can give your kitchen design a little personality by opting for door-less cabinets or use glass, either clear or frosted. If you do this, you want to mix it up and only do it with select areas. You also want to make sure the result is aesthetically pleasing to the eye and not a jumble of plates and glasses.

4. Drawers or Shelves: There is a lot you can do with drawers and shelves today. For convenience in hard to reach spaces, you can opt to have some shelves pull out or drop down. You can also make a more organized space with vertical shelves.

These are great for storing baking sheets, racks, and other tall slender items that you would normally just stack up and hope it doesn't fall over. Drawers are also showing up in unusual places. Just when you think it is a cabinet, you open the door and find drawers. This is a great way to more efficiently use the space as well as making pots and pans easier to get to.

5. Special Storage: There are also special storage options that also add to the décor of the kitchen. Even in the stock ones, you can find spaces such as built in wine racks or plate display shelves. There are roll-top cubby holes that can be used for counter top storage while also hiding it away. Special sliding spice shelves and garbage drawers are also popular.

6. Surprise! Another trend is hiding the appliances. This is where a custom order would have to be made, but many people are having faux fronts built to allow their dishwashers and refrigerators to be hidden away. It looks like a pantry, but it's really the icebox!

So, as you can see, there are a lot of things you can do to make your kitchen design functional but also a room you want to be in. Really think about your style and how you use the kitchen before you place your order.

Some of the things to consider when choosing well designed kitchen cabinets are custom, type of wood and finish, type of doors, drawers, shelving and specialty storage. For beautiful kitchen cabinets in Sarasota Florida, contact the Eurotech Cabinetry firm at http://www.eurotechcabinetry.com.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Andrew_Stratton

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Granite, Quartz, and Stone Countertops Bring New Life Into Tired Kitchens

Have you been cooking on the same boring Formica countertops for 20 years? Are you considering putting your house on the market? Is your kitchen drab and tired-looking? If you're ready to give your kitchen a new lease on life, consider installing stone countertops. The renovations are relatively minor-quick and hassle-free-and the results are fabulous. You'll be amazed at how different your kitchen looks by simply switching to granite or quartz countertops!

The truth is that laminate countertops are a thing of the past. In the last decade or so, stone countertops have shifted from a luxury item available to the elite few to the industry standard. Laminate simply looks dowdy and old-fashioned when compared with the sleek, satiny look of stone. Having stone countertops installed in your kitchen is a great way to bring your home up to date and into the 21st century.

You may be surprised to learn that stone countertops are available in a wide variety of price ranges. You'll pay a premium for specialty natural stone like exotic marbles, but more common natural countertop materials such as granite and soapstone are less expensive. Also, consider that materials like quartz counters can easily last the lifetime of your house; even though such stone countertops are more expensive than laminate would be, they're a better value since they never need to be replaced!

And, speaking of value, investing in quality solid-surface countertops is a fantastic way to add value to your home. Regardless of whether you're planning to sell your house in the short term, stone countertops are an enduring investment in your home. Especially if you're planning to enjoy your home for years to come, now is the best time to install granite countertops; you'll have plenty of time to benefit from your attractive, functional stone counters before you eventually sell the house. And when you do sell, the purchase price will invariably be higher than if your kitchen had worn Formica counters. In fact, because the appearance of your kitchen is usually the single room that makes or breaks a sale, stone countertops may be the difference between selling your home or not.

With all of the great reasons to install stone counters in your kitchen, there's no point in waiting! Visit your local stone counter showroom to see samples and talk to knowledgeable sales staff about the various benefits provided by different types of stone. Regardless of what type of stone counter you select, you will be adding beauty, durability, and class to your home.

Matt Gallo is a home improvement hobbyist and the Internet marketing manager for Prospect Genius, a leading online provider of local advertising solutions.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Matt_Gallo

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Kitchens - Top Tips For Remodeling Your Kitchen

For those who live in the state of Minnesota, home improvement is an important topic, just like it is everywhere else in the country. Of course one of the rooms in homes that most often ends up needing a face lift is the kitchen. After all, in many homes, the living is all centered around the kitchen. If you are planning a kitchen remodel in your Twin Cities home, then you are probably interested in some kitchen remodeling ideas and tips. Here are some tops tips that will help you out when remodeling your kitchen.

Look for Some Inspiration for Your Kitchen Remodel
The first thing you'll want to do when you are planning a kitchen renovation is to look for some inspiration for your kitchen remodel. This is one of the best and easiest ways that you can get a good start on this project. It's extremely easy to find inspiration for your kitchen. Although it used to be that you had to spend time in home improvement stores or time collecting a variety of magazines and brochures, with the internet it's much easier. You can easily and quickly browse through many different photos of kitchens on the web that will give you the inspiration that you need for your kitchen remodel.

Come Up with a Remodeling Plan
Making a plan is also important when it comes to remodeling a kitchen. You can choose the way you want your appliances, counters, and cabinets all laid out. It's actually very easy to create your plans. There are even some programs, such as SmartDraw, that will help you to design your own kitchen.

Make Sure You Keep Your Budget in Mind
If you're doing a kitchen remodel, it's imperative that you keep your budget in mind. Make sure that you know how much money you have to work with before you begin your remodeling project. This way you can budget it out accordingly. Instead of spending 50% of your budget on cabinets that are brand new, consider refinishing the ones that you have. They'll look great and you'll spend a whole lot less money this way.

Use Some Paint for a New Look
In order to get a great new look, use some new paint. Believe it or not, changing the color of the kitchen walls can make a huge difference in your kitchen without you having to spend a huge amount of money. If you want a look that is cozy, reds and yellows are great choices. Light colors will help to make the room look like it is bigger, which is great for smaller spaces. Blues can make your kitchen look elegant and sophisticated as well. Of course when you are considering the right colors, make sure that you consider the rest of the elements in your kitchen as well as the general décor of your home.

Update the Kitchen Details for a New Look
To make your money go a long way while still giving your kitchen a great new look, consider updating the details in your kitchen. If you have an older kitchen, you can do a whole lot by purchasing new details, such as handles and door knobs for the kitchen that are actually updated. There are so many different options to choose from when it comes to fixtures and handles as well, which means you can get details that will go with just about any type of décor you have in mind for the remodeled kitchen.

Consider a Variety of Textures for the Counters
When it comes to kitchen designs, you should consider a variety of textures for the counters when doing a kitchen remodel in the Twin Cities suburbs. Colors and textures can both be used together to provide your kitchen with a great look. There are so many different types of textures that can be used for your counters, including marble, granite, and even wood.

Take the Lighting to a New Level
Take the lighting in your kitchen to a whole new level when you are remodeling it. Having a lot of lighting the kitchen is very important. You can used under the cabinet lights to make it easy to work in the kitchen. Recessed lighting is a great idea and you can add a few pendant lights that are task specific to make sure that you have great light in key areas as well. There are many excellent lighting choices that will allow you to have a very dramatic difference in your kitchen.

Organize and Schedule the Entire Project
When you are doing any remodeling project, such as a kitchen remodel, it's important that you organize and schedule the entire project carefully. If you take the time to get organized and to come up with a schedule, you'll find that the project is not near as stressful for you. Come up with a timetable for when you want certain parts of the project to be done. You can come up with tool lists, supply lists, and more to help you stay more organized throughout the entire project.

Always Keep the Big Picture in Mind
You are always going to want to keep the big picture in mind when you are doing kitchen remodeling in St. Paul or Minneapolis. When you come up with choices for the textures, colors, appliances, and more, then you can bring everything together in your mind. As you go through all the stages of a remodel, it will really help you out if you keep the entire picture in your mind.

Visit http://www.remodelminnesota.com to learn more about remodeling a home in MN. John Mazzara is involved with financial services in the Twin Cities, MN. Officing out of Edina, Minnesota-John is centrally located within the 7 county MN metropolitan area. John owns three separate businesses-a licensed real estate broker associate selling Minnesota real estate since 1986-affiliated with RE/MAX Associates Plus http://www.MinneapolisStPaulHomes.com, an independent CFP-certified financial planner since 1989 with an independent Minnesota financial planning firm-Financial Planning Associates and the owner of a Minnesota mortgage broker firm-Venture Development Inc-specializing ins residential, commercial and investment mortgages If you are looking for someone to help you in the areas of real estate sales/purchase, mortgages, or and/or financial planning and insurance you should call John for a free 1 hour consultation to see if he can meet your needs. 952-929-2577. RE/MAX Associates Plus and Venture Development are located at 7300 France Ave S, Suite 410, Edina, MN 55435

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=John_Mazzara

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

MDF Kitchen Doors - Save Money Without Sacrificing Quality

Like most home owners, you are probably looking for ways to boost the property value of your home by making affordable improvements. Replacing your kitchen doors is a great way to get a big return on a relatively small investment, and there are plenty of inexpensive options when taking on this project.

Solid wooden kitchen doors are beautiful, but can get pretty pricey. This same look can be achieved by going with MDF kitchen doors instead. Of the many reasons to choose MDF kitchen doors the number one reason is that the price of this composite material is much less then solid wood or other choices.

Lower price aside, MDF kitchen doors are lighter in weight, nearly as durable, and can be found in many of the same styles and colors as other material choices. These composite kitchen doors can be installed and maintained just as easily as the wooden ones, on top of that, self-installation is a breeze

Before beginning your renovation with MDF kitchen doors, make sure you have thoroughly measured the front of your existing cabinet structures, and the kitchen doors you are planning to buy match in height and width. If you decide to contract a professional carpenter to undertake this project for you, make sure they are licensed and insured. The business you purchased your MDF kitchen doors from will most likely have a team on staff of sub-contractors.

Going with the installer provided by the supplier from which you purchase your kitchen doors from will usually save you a large amount of money by combining materials and the labor. Your MDF kitchen should only take one to two days to install. Most professionals can finish the job same day. If you are able to remove your existing kitchen doors yourself this is another good way to save money on install, being that rates are based on the amount of work ad the time it will take the contractor.

If you choose to undertake the installation of your kitchen doors yourself, make sure you do a good amount of research on not only how to install your doors but the tools the project will require as well. This will not only save a great deal of money, but can be a fun learning experience.

MDF kitchen doors are a great project for first-timers. This low cost low hassle material is pretty forgiving to novice mistakes. Taking the time to install our own kitchen doors is not only a great investment, but one you can be proud to have done with your own hands.

Your kitchen doors can change the entire atmosphere of the room. Always be sure that the brand of MDF kitchen doors that you choose is a reputable one, and if you are going to install them yourself, be sure to do your research in order to understand every aspect of the work that it entails.

Learn about the advantages and disadvantages of MDF kitchen doors at Best Kitchen Doors. This information packed site will teach you everything you need to know about selecting http://bestkitchendoors.com for your needs.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=H_Krafston

Thursday, 8 January 2009

How to Get the Perfect Stainless Steel Sink For Your Kitchen

If you want to get things done right, then you need to have the right equipment for it. Such is also the case in a modern family kitchen. To ensure a smooth operation -- whether it's washing the dishes or preparing ingredients for the next meal, you need to have the right sink that will cater to all your needs. The best one you can ever hope to equip your kitchen with is a stainless steel sink.

Finding The Right Sink For Your Kitchen

Furniture and fixture shops offer a wide array of stainless steel sinks for your modern kitchen. They vary in design, size, and faculties that simplify kitchen duties for added convenience. In terms of design, you can pick out an Inset stainless steel sink to match it well with your counter top. Undermount sinks are perfect for those individuals who don't want the design of their tables to be compromised by the sinks color and style.

But if you want to get the best ones in the market for your kitchen, there are some tips that should work for you.

1. Measure Your Kitchen First

Size should be your first concern in the purchase of a stainless steel sink for your kitchen. Unless you live in a mansion, you need to pick a size that compliments the area of your family kitchen. Along with size, you might want to decide whether you should opt for a single-sink or a dual-sink variety -- of course, the latter takes up more space than the first.

2. Convenient Features

You should consider the features you want your stainless steel sink to have. Most of them come with a tap or a faucet, but you might want to look for those with other features as well, like a hose, and so on. Keep in mind the function of your kitchen while you check these designs out.

3. Go With Your Price

It might be possible that the purchase of a stainless steel sink is not convenient for your budget. In truth, not everyone can afford this item for your kitchen; but it is quite possible to get one below the normal price.

You can start by doing a little window shopping and check out the prices of stainless steel kitchen sinks available in the local market. If you think they are to expensive for your taste, then check out the selections online for bigger discounts.

http://sinkdepot.net/ -- Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Some Tips For Remodeling the Kitchen

If you are a novice with a paintbrush or the use of power tools, then the best thing for you while planning to re-model your kitchen is to get someone to do your job you. Even if you're very familiar with construction work, employing someone to do your work is not a bad idea as you can save a lot of time by resorting to this method. If you belong to the category of people who have both the time as well as the knowledge, there is still one kitchen remodeling tip that you can use to your advantage.

Before you start re-modeling your kitchen, it would be a good idea to draw a picture of how you want the kitchen to ultimately look like. You do not have to do this manually, as there are many computer programs that will help you with your work. You have to use the computer programs that come with kitchen appliance icons incorporated in them. All you need to do then is to put in the measurements of your room and start experimenting with various designs on the computer before your actually begin renovating the kitchen.

The computer will again come to your help when it comes to designing your kitchen in the manner that you desire. You can take the help of the various sites online that provide snaps of different designer Kitchens. By doing this, you do not have to actually visit a lot of home shows or remodeling centers to get an idea of how to redo your kitchen.

Apart from painting the kitchen to make it look great, there are other small things you can do to enhance the look of the room. For example, replacing the drawer pulls and the door knobs can make a huge difference in the look of a room. This will not cost you too much money either. Another thing you could do is to paint the electrical receptacle covers of the room. Many people neglect this aspect, whereas this is one small change that will increase the attraction of the room in a significant manner.

When painting your kitchen, make sure that the walls and the ceiling are not of the same color. The reason is that if the walls and ceiling have the same paint on it than the room will appear congested. If you do not like white on your ceiling, what you can do is opt for a shade that is lighter than the color used on the walls. Many experts recommend this is as a sensible thing to do while painting your kitchen.

Before you start with your kitchen remodeling, however, remember that you have to decide on how much you're willing to spend for your kitchen first. You will have to fix the specific price for each task like the painting, cabinets, floors, lighting etc. so that you do not deplete your resources. This is the right way to go about renovating your kitchen with center kitchen islands.

Did you like the article on kitchen remodeling tip??, Adam Peters enjoys writing for many websites. Keep reading about center kitchen islands and kitchen design at http://www.home-decorating-reviews.com/blog/57/brave-kitchen-islands/.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Adam_Peters

Monday, 5 January 2009

Kitchens Have Become the Focal Point of Many Modern Households

Kitchens have been the focal point of many households for centuries. Kitchens are no longer just a place where food is prepared. They have become a place for friends and families to hang out and discuss the day, or to get-together for a cook-off or wine-tasting.

If you are a family that enjoys spending time in the kitchen, you probably want it to have a visual appeal that represents your family. Whether you are going for a cozy ambience or a strictly functional kitchen, one thing to keep in mind is cabinet space.

Kitchen cabinets serve many purposes. They will free-up counter and working space, they add visual appeal and the look of your kitchen cabinets will set the mood for great entertaining. This is especially true in open floor plans where the kitchen essentially leads right into the living room & dining room.

If you are in the market for a relatively easy way to enhance your kitchen, the following are a few tips and pointers for those of you who want or need to make your kitchen more accessible, user-friendly, and functional.

  • Make a list of the current problems in your kitchen-inadequate counter or work space, appliances installed too far apart, inadequate cabinet and storage space, insufficient or awkwardly placed lighting, a sink that is too small, or improper ventilation.
  • Shop around at annual Home Shows for the latest kitchen layouts and designs. There are generally a plethora of magazines and books at any home improvement center that will help you decide exactly what you want.
  • Consider convenience. If you are going to perform a major overhaul you will need to consider adding storage, more cabinets, and placing appliances close to each other.
  • Make your visual choices carefully. You have a variety of cabinets to choose from- Maple, birch, oak, cherry, or synthetic cabinets. You may want to enhance your kitchen with window cabinets to display beautiful dishes or attractively contained food, oils, or spices.
  • After choosing the material of your new cabinets, you will need to consider color or finish choices. You want something that will visually blend with what you have or something that will match new appliances.
  • Lastly, remember that this is really a family project. You should consult everyone when making your choices. Remember that your kitchen will not be functional as long as you will be renovating. If you do not think that you have the time or know-how, you might want to consider hiring a professional.

The days of woman toiling alone in the kitchen are long gone. Now couples share cooking responsibilities or the male might be the primary cook of the household. Groups of guys have even been known to get together to share their cooking expertise.

A kitchen is a great place, no matter what the occasion, to gather for family meals, quiet mornings, entertaining, or for the holidays. It is the place where family traditions and childhood memories are formed so take your time and consider your choices wisely.

Article provided by direct distributors of kitchen cabinetry and oak cabinets by Accent Building Products. Your one stop shop for all home improvement products. Check them out online at accentbuildingproducts.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Lawrence_Reaves

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Designing a Parisian Candy Shop Kitchen

The atmosphere I was trying to achieve in this traditional kitchen was that of a 1915 Parisian Candy Shop. When I walked into the existing kitchen I was thrilled to find the basics would easily transition to the candy shop look. The wonderful "bones" of the kitchen included cream cabinetry with stainless classic handles and pulls, solid black granite countertops, deep crown moldings and finally excellent windows including a floor to ceiling bay window.

I must stress the importance of using classic styling, stone and high-end appliances in a traditional kitchen. These rarely date and can easily be "freshened" up. In the case of this kitchen I took several steps to maximize the candy-shop kitchen while still adhering to a strict budget. I knew immediately I wanted the colors to be black, cream and murky rose. The walls received a new slightly pink based cream by Benjamin Moore called Butter Pecan. The trim painted in White Dove (always a favorite). The too modern stainless pulls and handles were removed and spray-painted matte black - voila - instant iron pulls!! This step alone saved thousands of dollars.

A trademark of my kitchen designs have always been the use of open shelves. Whether Modern, Traditional, Tuscan, Asian or French I feel that upper cabinets tend to create a claustrophobic environment. A more European approach is to replace a few upper cabinets with shelves. These particular shelves were made with Asian-inspired wrought iron brackets, unfinished store-bought pine shelves that were painted deep red, antiqued and finished off with velvet pom-pom curtain fringe attached with upholstery tacks. The red shelves were antiqued by rubbing in and then wiping off a black stain to give them the aged finished I was looking for. With open shelves I could now casually display a faux Degas's painting (found in a discount store for $19.99) behind the antique dishes now displayed proudly on the open shelves.

I now turned my attention to the lighting. I replaced the two recess lights above the island with large drop lights from Home Depot. The problem was these steel lights looked too modern - so once again black spray paint was used to transform the stainless steel store bought lamps into in a matt black iron look that complimented and connected with the matt black pulls on the cabinets.

Perhaps the trickiest aspect of the redecoration was finding the antique opal-rose chandelier that was installed over the kitchen table and the petite version that was placed over the sink. I was very lucky on eBay finding them three-months apart and from separate sellers. Other possibilities are Craig's list, estate sales and antique stores. My advice is when you are visiting a small town, discover their local antique shops and if you see a chandelier that makes your heart race and is not too hard on your wallet - splurge!!! A reputable electrician can rewire and hang it for you. My husband often jokes that "My wife does not have diamonds she has chandeliers". This is a bit obsessive but in my opinion nothing gives more style to a room than lighting and art work.

I moved on to the glass cabinets and searched for fabric that could be hung on the inside to disguise any mess. I settled on a pattern of Heraldic cream-colored lions on a dusky pink back ground. I choose this over the obvious French toile, as I feel too much of one style can create a theme park environment not the eclectic warm look I was aiming for.

My final step in creating the ultimate candy shop kitchen was the most costly and boldest. The main kitchen wall was covered in ARTWORK. Some of the artwork was placed on ornate black brackets to add dimension, some encased in gold chunky frames, and others were more modern black and white photos. I wanted this wall with all its individual art that when hung in such a massive grouping would itself become one giant work of art. More IS more when it comes to groupings. Ornate antique silver candelabras on a large black table complete the gracious feel of a bygone era.

Bon Appetite!!!